Risk factors for negative sputum acid-fast bacilli smears in pulmonary tuberculosis: results from Dakar, Senegal, a city with low HIV seroprevalence
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether patients with HIV-associated pulmonary tuberculosis have fewer acid-fast bacilli (AFB) in their sputum as assessed by routine microscopy, and to correlate the findings with systematically obtained clinical, radiographic and laboratory variables.
DESIGN: Prospective study from November 1995 to October 1996 of 450 consecutive patients diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis.
RESULTS: Tuberculosis was diagnosed in 380 patients (84.4%) by positive bacteriology, in 61 (13.6%) by a favorable response to anti-tuberculosis chemotherapy, and in nine (2.0%) by the presence of a miliary radiographic pattern. Forty (8.9%) patients were HIV-seropositive. AFB-negative smears were found in 14/40 (35.0%) of the HIV-seropositive patients with pulmonary tuberculosis compared with 71/410 (17.3%) of the seronegative patients (risk ratio [RR] = 2.02, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.26–3.24, P = 0.01). Multivariate analysis revealed that AFB smear negativity was associated with absence of cavitation (P = 0.002), lack of cough (P = 0.005), the presence of HIV seropositivity (P = 0.02), a CD4+ cell count above 200/mm3 (P = 0.02), and age over 40 years (P = 0.03).
CONCLUSIONS: Compared with HIV-seronegative patients with pulmonary tuberculosis, seropositive patients in Dakar, Senegal, are more likely to have negative sputum-AFB smears. This phenomenon has now been observed in seven of eight sub-Saharan African countries with varying HIV seroprevalence from which reports are available.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Affiliations: 1: INSERM U13/IMEA, Paris, France 2: CHU de Fann, Dakar, Sénégal 3: Hôpital Principal, Dakar, Sénégal 4: Hôpital A Le Dantec, Dakar, Sénégal 5: Institut d'Hygiène Sociale, Dakar, Sénégal 6: ORSTOM, Laboratoire des Rétrovirus, Montpellier, France 7: Hôpital Bichat-Claude Bernard, Paris, France 8: University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA
Publication date: 1999-04-01
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